As the summer months approach, you might be getting ready to turn on your air conditioning. Our energy bills usually increase during the hottest parts of the year, and we are always looking for ways to save money. There are a lot of “tips” out there that claim to save you money on your energy bill, and many of them are not true. If you have a question or need further help with your air conditioning services contact us! Here are some popular myths that you should steer clear of:
- You don’t need maintenance visits unless there is something wrong with your a/c unit – having regular maintenance completed on your air conditioning unit will save you money in the long run. If you have a newer unit, you may think that maintenance isn’t needed but that is a myth. By having regular maintenance completed on your system, you will keep it running as efficiently as possible for a much longer time. Efficiency is the key to your HVAC system. An efficient unit uses less energy and puts less strain on the system, leading to lower heating and cooling bills and a longer lifespan. The longer a unit can work efficiently, the more money you save. Most a/c units cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 and they live anywhere from 10 to 20 years. A $6,000 a/c unit that lasts 10 years costs you about $600 a year, while the same unit will cost $300 a year if it lives for 20 years.
- A bigger unit will work better – bigger isn’t always better. When selecting a new a/c unit, they are rated by “tons”. A 1.5 ton unit is rated for a space that ranges from 600 to 1,000 sq. feet and a 4 ton unit is rated for 2,000 to 2,500 sq. feet. If your home is 1,800 sq. feet, you might think it is better to jump to a 4 ton unit, rather than stick with a 3 ton unit, because 1,800 is so close to 2,000. However, this is actually not a great idea. A/C units are designed to work efficiently, to use less energy. If you have an a/c unit that is rated for a bigger space, it will cool the space too quickly, and then turn itself off. It will turn back on once the temperature rises again, and then off, and then on. When the compressor cuts off and on quickly, without running a full cycle, it shortens the lifespan of the unit. Similar to a car, it is better to leave it running, because turning on repeatedly uses more energy than just staying on for longer. If you have a unit that is too small for the space, that can also be a problem because the system will constantly be running, never able to turn off because it won’t be able to maintain the desired temperature. The A/C unit was built to run efficiently, and if it isn’t sized properly, it will wear itself out prematurely.
- Wait til the unit dies before buying a new one – similar to a car, running an a/c unit til it dies might seem like a way to save money. However, it isn’t. Just like a car, eventually the repairs will end up costing more than the unit is worth, so it would be cheaper to get a new one. Another cost to consider is your energy bill. Systems are increasingly becoming more energy-efficient, so if your old unit is more than 10 or 15 years old, it might be worth looking into a new system. Even if your current a/c is functioning, it may be costing you a lot on your energy bill, where a new unit might cut that cost in half (or more!). If you think this might describe your current situation, give Reliance Home Comfort a call today to discuss your options.
- Turning the a/c off will save money – another popular myth is to turn off the air conditioning when you are not at home. This would only be true if you planned to keep it off for a long time. If you are just leaving the house for work for the day, you should keep your a/c on. If you turn it off, the house will obviously heat up. Once you return home and turn the a/c on, the air conditioner will have to work harder to cool the house down. Your house might be in the 80s indoors, and you want the temperature to be 74 degrees. This means your unit has to decrease the temperature by more than 10 degrees, and that takes a lot of energy. If you just increased the temperature a few degrees when you go to work, that would make it a lot easier on the unit. Maintaining a temperature and just going down a couple of degrees uses a lot less energy than going from being ‘off’ to cooling an entire house down.
Keeping your house cool in summer should be a priority. Don’t wait until your a/c unit malfunctions during a heat wave, take care of it now. Call Reliance Home Comfort today to schedule air conditioning services with one of our highly-trained HVAC specialists. We can make sure your a/c unit is ready to battle the summer heat, or make recommendations if we spot any issues.